PHARMACY

First DataBank campaign focuses on prevention of medication errors

BY Drew Buono

SAN BRUNO, Calif. First DataBank has launched a new awareness campaign that will focus on the public and industry attention on the prevention of medication errors. The campaign will be unveiled at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society 2008 Annual Conference Exhibition to be held Feb. 24-28, in Orlando.

The theme of the campaign is, “A World Free of Medication Errors.” First DataBank is trying to raise awareness that its medication information systems can play a vital role in the prevention of medication errors. Experts estimate that as many as 98,000 people die each year from medical errors that occur in hospitals and a significant number of those deaths are due to medication-related errors.

Throughout every public event in which First DataBank participates in 2008, the company will set aside five dollars toward wristbands distributed that will be shared equally by two non-profit organizations. The two organizations chosen by First DataBank to share in the funds raised throughout the campaign year are: Families Launching Action Against Medication Errors and the Josie King Foundation.

“The employees at First DataBank are passionately committed to improving patient safety and healthcare quality in everything we do,” said Don Nielsen, president of First DataBank. “The knowledge that our drug information plays a significant role in the prevention of harmful medication errors was our inspiration for this campaign and our hope is that it motivates others to join with us,” he continued.

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Accu-Break issues two new patents for their tablet-making technologies

BY Diana Alickaj

PLANTATION, Fla. Accu-Break Pharmaceuticals announced the recent issuance of two patents for its Accu-Break technologies on Thursday. Accu-Break is widely known for its innovation in tablet formation that includes customized and individualized dosing, for patients that need specific amounts of a drug inserted for certain medications.

The first-patent involves a tablet designed for patients with combination doses that allows them to ingest only one tablet with two different medications. The new technology enables the medications to be separated by splitting the tablet through a drug free layer. This would also be helpful in combining two different medications that are not necessarily compatible with one another, without mixing them together.

The second patent, according to published reports, will include divisible tablets which would provide an accurate partial-dose of active ingredients within the tablet, which is useful for titration and doseage adjustment.

“The Company views the issuance of these patents as key to both our own product development and the worldwide licensing of our innovative tablet technologies,” said ABP’s chief executive officer, Allan Kaplan. “The granting of these patents should bode well for additional pending applications that cover, among other things, new and complimentary tablet technologies.”

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Financials show Icahn had sold his shares in Genzyme

BY Drew Buono

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Carl Icahn has apparently decided to leave Genzyme alone after regulatory filings released Thursday showed that the investor sold his shares in the company late last year, according to published reports.

Icahn’s investment firm, Icahn Capital Management, reported that it owned 1.5 million shares of Genzyme, or less than 1 percent of the stock, at the end of September, but sold its stake by the end of December. The filings didn’t indicate exactly when Icahn bought or sold the stock, but he likely turned a profit as Genzyme shares rose 20 percent in the fourth quarter, when Icahn sold his shares.

Genzyme had been getting pressure from Icahn to either sell off or break up the company, to which Genzyme chief executive Henri Termeer took offense and made it a priority to not bow down to Ichan.

Icahn, though, should not be worried; he has already won battles at some other biotech companies. He took control of ImClone Systems board in 2006. And last year, MedImmune agreed to sell itself to drug maker AstraZeneca for $15.6 billion after Icahn pushed for a sale. And now more recently, it is apparent he has his sights on Biogen Idec after he recently nominated three people for election to its board in late December.

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